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Microsoft's Army Goggles Reportedly Cause "Physical Impairment"

It is claimed that soldiers who tested the customized version of Microsoft's HoloLens goggles developed for the US Army experienced headaches, eyestrain, and nausea.

A number of soldiers of the US Army who were using Microsoft’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS), the customized version of the company's HoloLens goggles, in their latest field test reportedly suffered "physical impairments" that affected their mission.

According to Bloomberg, which claims it obtained a summary of a 79-page report for Army and Defense Department officials, over 80% of soldiers who experienced discomfort while using the device had symptoms like headaches, eyestrain, and nausea after less than three hours of using the goggles.

As the outlet states, the director of Operation Test and Evaluation Nickolas Guertin described those issues in the summary adding that the device is also "still experiencing too many failures of essential functions" as well as emphasizing the need for improvements to the goggles' low-light sensors, display clarity, and field of vision. 

However, despite the disadvantages of the goggles, Guertin reportedly doesn't plan to give up on the device. Instead, he recommends that the Army "prioritize improvements" to reduce the "physical discomfort of users" before the widespread deployment of the goggles in the Army.

Citing the report, Bloomberg also states that apart from the device's flaws, its latest version has seen an improvement in its key metric – "the mean time between failures that render the whole system inoperable." In addition, the outlet claims that leaders and soldiers who tested the device also reported that the latest model has "enhanced navigation and coordination of unit movements."

IVAS is expected to provide US ground forces with a "heads-up display" that would let commanders project information onto a visor in front of a soldier’s face as well as would include the night vision feature.

The Army plans to spend $21.9 billion over a decade on the device and also proposed to spend $424.2 million on the program this fiscal year – however, this should first be approved by lawmakers after the necessary tests will be conducted.

If the report is to be believed, one of its findings reads that acceptance of the device by soldiers "remains low" now and both soldiers and their leaders claim that the goggles do not "contribute to their ability to complete their mission."

Doug Bush, the Army’s assistant secretary for acquisition, said in a statement that the Army is "fully aware" of the testing office’s concerns and added that the finding that the goggles cause "physical impairment" overstates the problems. However, he noted that the Army is going to bring "significant improvements to address soldier concerns regarding comfort and fit."

You can learn more by reading Bloomberg's report here. Also, don't forget to join our Reddit page and our Telegram channel, follow us on Instagram and Twitter, where we share breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more.

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